It’s time for Anwar to act, says Zaid Ibrahim

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PETALING JAYA: As the man who led the federal opposition coalition in the past two general elections, it is Anwar Ibrahim who should name the person to lead the fight against Barisan Nasional in the next general election (GE14), says Zaid Ibrahim.

Zaid said the former defacto PKR leader’s endorsement could help seal the most united and credible opposition front ever.

“I believe Anwar will take into account all the factors needed to win the election and will take appropriate measures to ensure that he will assume the prime ministership when the time comes.

“However, Anwar must act now (in naming the opposition leader) before we waste more months talking about nothing,” the former defacto law minister said in a blog post today.

Zaid’s comments were in response to a letter by Bersih 2.0’s Mandeep Singh, which was published by Malaysiakini on March 8.

Writing the letter in his individual capacity, Mandeep said many people he had spoken to were not interested in voting in the next general election because they had lost hope in the opposition.

Mandeep had said that perhaps the opposition needed to be taught a lesson in GE14.

“Mandeep was representing the views of many Malaysian voters,” Zaid said.

“With all the problems facing (Prime Minister) Najib Razak and the BN, one would have thought it would not be difficult for the opposition to win the next election, but Mandeep argued that it would probably take another 30 years before the opposition got their act together, judging by their inability to even name a leader for the pact.”

Zaid added that he had mentioned the same issue some three months ago.

“I ventured to suggest that Anwar, although incarcerated, should name an interim leader of the opposition so that voters could have the confidence that such a leader might lead the opposition to victory.

“This leader has to be someone who can maximise the opposition’s chances of winning and, at the same time, he or she must have Anwar’s confidence that when the pardon process is done, Anwar will be appointed prime minister,” Zaid said, adding that this was also needed as there are many in the opposition who wanted to be prime minister.

Meanwhile, Zaid also wrote about the decision by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad to get his party into a formal pact with Pakatan Harapan.

“Instead of dilly-dallying with PAS, this is a big step towards preparing for a united opposition.

“This momentous decision will enable seat-allocation and the preparation of a manifesto to take priority instead of wondering and hoping when PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang will abandon Najib,” Zaid said, adding that the opposition pact lost many months on that hope, and should now proceed with confidence to face the Najib-Hadi axis at GE14.

According to Zaid, who was previously a member of PKR and later started a new party called Kita, the Najib-Hadi axis isn’t very strong and it can be beaten.

“We just need to inspire a new wave of excitement and belief among voters that, this time, change is for real.

“Don’t disappoint Mandeep and many others like him by not making this tough decision when the decision is exactly what we should be making.” – FMT

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